World Environment Day Asks Us to "Unite for a Sustainable Chicago"
Saturday, June 2, 2012
— The Chicago Botanic Garden will celebrate World Environment Day, the United Nations World Environment Programme's (UNEP) global day of positive environmental action, for the fifth year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2012. The theme this year is "Unite for a Sustainable Chicago," reflecting the event's purpose: to gather people of all ages together with fun, interactive and enriching programs and activities to engage them in protecting and preserving plants and the environment through awareness and action.
The day begins with the dedication and opening of the new Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden (GCGG) at 9 a.m. This 10,000-square-foot garden will provide a dedicated place for active, hands-on planting programs for children. The dedication will include remarks followed by a ribbon cutting, tours of the garden and two activity stations, teaching families and children about gardening, plant parts and eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Children will receive a marigold seedling and a bean seed to grow at home. Staff will demonstrate how the garden will be used for a variety of programs that connect children with nature. Senior Horticulturist Dan Dion will lead 20-minute tours of the garden at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The opening of the GCGG is sponsored by Make It Better.
WGN-TV Meteorologist Tom Skilling and Anchor/Reporter Robert Jordan will be keynote speakers at 10:30 a.m., talking about Chicago's weather and its impact locally and globally. Cost for the lecture is $12; Chicago Botanic Garden members pay $10. Advance tickets are available at www.chicagobotanic.org/wed.
Events throughout the Day
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Esplanade, visitors will learn about local groups' and corporations' efforts for the environment such as Chicago Green Mission/National Wildlife Federation, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Trustees of Glencoe, Baxter, ITW, UL LLC and Bartlett Tree Experts. They'll also find members of the Garden's Horticulture Department, Plant Information Service and Regenstein School giving demonstrations on sustainable gardening techniques and answering questions. Some topics include "Best Tools and Their Care," "Best Planting and Mulching Practices," "Eco-friendly Rose Care," "Sustainable Watering Techniques," "Eco-friendly Lawn Care," "Landscape Alternatives for Invasive Species," "Successful Composting," and "House Plants For Healthier Homes." Families will also discover "Weather or Not," where they'll learn how plants, people and animals act in different kinds of weather and how our actions affect our weather, as well as "Nature Play," where they'll enjoy various activities such as leaf and bark rubbings. Windy City Harvest will sell fresh locally-grown vegetables at their farmers' market stand.
In the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, visitors can learn more about the Green Roof Garden with "Ask the Horticulturist" and learn about some of the plants grown in the Rainwater Glen as well as how to create a rain garden at the "Rain Garden Cart." Scientists will be working in the labs and